On Tuesday, President Trump made an announcement that would have saved his campaign and party a good chunk of time and a great deal of money if he had made it early last month. In an interview with a television station in Raleigh, the president said that he would accept the GOP nomination in August in North Carolina, though he did not clarify if it would be in Charlotte, the original site for the Republican National Convention first announced in 2018.
“I’ll be in North Carolina, and that’s a very big deal because we have a lot of the delegates there, and that’ll be a nomination process,” Trump told the station WRAL. “And that’s essentially where the nomination, where it’s formalized. And I’m really honored to do it in North Carolina.”
The statement comes days after the president announced he would no longer hold the in-person events portion of the convention in Jacksonville after the realities of the pandemic in Florida made such a prospect too unsafe and expensive to execute. Trump had initially decided in June to move his nomination speech out of North Carolina after Governor Roy Cooper determined holding such a rally would be too unsafe and expensive to execute.
As is common with Trump announcements regarding important summer events, the president did not provide much detail, promising something “exciting” but not naming a venue or a city for his acceptance speech. While there was speculation that Trump might hold the speech at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, or perhaps at one of his properties in New York — where positive-testing rates suggest a level of reasonable containment — the return to North Carolina is most likely a matter of convenience and expense. Without a presidential appearance in the state, the stripped-down event in Charlotte was essentially a business meeting in a hotel with an eight-figure price tag. But with Trump returning to the state for his acceptance speech on August 27, the GOP may be able to claim that not all of the roughly $38 million spent in North Carolina’s largest city has gone to waste — even if the time spent attempting to fundraise for the Jacksonville programming did.